Annual TEDx speakers chosen

A student panel assisted in deciding which speeches to include in this year’s Wellness Center event.

With two successful TEDx Talk events under its belt, Diamond Bar High School’s Wellness Center will host another round of inspirational speeches on Nov. 13.

Eighteen speakers will present on an array of topics relevant to the high school youth, ranging from the speaker’s cultural identity to political activism during the all-day event held in the school theater,  ranging from periods one through six.

“My expectations are that peers that come in are going to be inspired by the messages from their peers,” Wellness Center adviser Sandy Davis said.

“I hope people walk away with, like I said, being inspired and learning something new that maybe provides some insight to their own lives.”

A change in the talks made this year by the Wellness Center was incorporating the TEDx Club on campus to help out with the audition procedures.

“There were some members of the TEDx Club that helped with the judging because they were intimately involved in putting on TED Talks off campus,” Davis said. “And so, they just have a lot more experience. I also had some teachers help judge as well as one [senior] student named Karen Shao who has given two Ted Talks the last two years, so she has a lot of experience.”

The student judging panel gave the Wellness Center more input on the speeches, allowing Davis to make a more thorough decision on which topics were the most relevant to teenagers.

This year,  students were not required to make PowerPoint presentations for their auditions since the judges decided that they did not want to be distracted while judging.

“This year, I decided to delete them because what we wanted to concentrate on the quality of the speech and how they delivered it,” Davis said. “So we were looking at the structure, how relevant it was, how their delivery was, their flow and their organization of ideas, I wanted to strip everything down and see the essence of their message.”

After the participants were chosen, they made PowerPoint slides and different visual aids to accompany their presentation.

The Wellness Center tried to license its event with the help of the TEDx Club to become an official TED Talk.

However, many technicalities prevented them from doing so because the TED organization had a list of requirements that had to be followed.

“We couldn’t go along with some of the requirements, like we had to charge students, and we can’t do that as a public school,” Davis said. “Not that we would want to. Also, we could only have 100 in the audience, whereas our theater can fit up to 300.”